Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty

Book information


One of the first economic development books that I read, and is such an easy read for someone who is just starting out in economics. It very much focuses on randomised focused trials and how small scale projects can have a bigger difference than large ones.

Key points

  • Microfinance doesn’t work when put into practice in India.
  • Publicising local politicians voting records in local newspapers, so that they’re more scrutinised leads to less corruption in government.
  • Giving away malaria nets doesn’t create a market for them, so how are they created in future? Though giving them away increases usage by a huge amount, so it’s worth it…
  • Incentivising the uptake for vaccinations, much increased the take up of vaccines. Sometimes there needs to be positive reinforcement even if the action is already positive.
  • The solutions to problems are not always a one-fit solves all, that is why it is much better to look at a local level and not on a large scale – Lot of arguments for devolution and bottom-up management.